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Halifax Community College PRIDE Program inducts first class

In 2008, HCC was awarded a $600,000 Office of Secondary Education’s Predominantly Black Institutions Program federal grant to establish the “Freedom to Learn Initiative” (FLI). The grant was made possible by the U.S. Department of Education. This year, HCC was again awarded the grant in the same amount to fund the program. FLI is an academic and student success initiative. The program, now operating under the name of the Preparing Men for Intellectual, Academic & Educational Success (PRIDE) of Halifax Male Mentoring Program, is designed to increase academic performance, retention, graduation/transfer rates, and to decrease student drop-out rates.


On Nov. 5, the program hosted the first-ever PRIDE of Halifax Induction Ceremony at the Centre. The keynote speaker for the event was Chief Judge for Judicial District 6-B, the Honorable Judge Alfred Kwasikpui. More than 100 students were inducted into the inaugural class.


Judge Kwasikpui shared that when he was first asked to consider being on the community advisory team for PRIDE, he was not certain that he could do it. “I have my own family and have my church and I thought, ‘I just don’t have time’,” he said. After he considered it a little more, he thought of the people in his life that had helped him.


He discussed the lessons he had learned from others. For example, he learned from the older men in the community to give a firm handshake and look a man straight in the eye. His mother taught him that a person only gets one chance to make a first impression. His father often advised to build a good work record and that a man does not quit one job before he gets another.


Judge Kwasikpui also talked about the 11th grade English teacher who helped him see the importance of education when his grades were going down because “studying wasn’t cool.” She said, “You know, the fellows are not going to give you a job. The fellows are not going to get you in college. A real man prepares himself so he can support himself and support his family.”


Studying for the bar exam was another example Judge Kwasikpui used. “I knew I had to pass that bar exam. If I didn’t pass, I couldn’t go into Army JAG. They wouldn’t accept me. You’ve got to be licensed to practice law. I knew I had to pass that exam. I was getting ready to take on a wife. It wasn’t just about me anymore,” he explained. “There were a lot of things I wanted to do, but I knew I had to pass.” In order to pass the bar, he stuck to a study schedule, only taking off Sundays.


“After I thought about the people who had helped me, I realized that they were my PRIDE. Those people had prepared me academically and intellectually for the work that I was going to do,” Judge Kwasikpui added. He challenged inductees to reach out to young people and pass on the pride.


PRIDE inductees included: Krishaun Adams, Brian Allen, Andre Anglin, Jason Arrington, Laquan Arrington, Kendrell Arrington, Gregory Ashe, Charles Avent, Keon Baker, Michael Barber, Dwayne Barnes, Kiante Bell, Thomas Benjamin, James Bertram, Tyrrell Boone, Cedric Bowser, Robert Branch, James Brickell, Sean Brown, Gary Burgess, Tyrone Burgess, Thomason Butts, James Bynum, Bryce Carter, Donte Caudle, Travis Chapman, Anthony Clayton, Michael Cruz, Calvin Daniel Jr., Robert Davis, Keino Deloatch, Corey Demick, Cornelius Dickens, Tyquell Dixon, Brandon Edmonds, Darius Edwards, Jowan Edwards, Cory Edwards, Jeffrey Ellis, Perry Evans, Jahmel Faison, Jeffrey Fleming, Dashawn Fleming, Marcus Garner, Rondell Garner, Cory Genus, Alexander Golden, Jamaull Green, Travis Harding, Steven Hardison, Jermel Hardy, Gregory Hardy, Giovonni Harrell, Sedrick Harris, Leroy Harris, Joe Harris, James Harvey, Ronnie Harvey Jr., Christopher Hawkins, Tyrone Hedgepeth, Joseph Henry III, Devin Hicks, Terrance Hill, David Hinkle Jr., Andre Hopkins, Joshua Hopson, Tyrell Howell, Dontaucis Ingram, Ulysses Isaac, Kourtnie James, Antonio Jefferson, Christopher Johnson, Darrell Johnson, Allen Johnson, Donta Johnson, DeCarlos Johnson, Jason Johson, Jaamal Jones, Alex Jordan, Robert Joyner Jr., Christopher King, David Laskey, Justin Lawrence, Aaron Leach II, Damon Lomax, Asa Long, Jonathan Lucas, Brock Lynch, Curtis Lynch II, Antione Lyons, Jeffrey Lyons, Jordan Macchia, Donovan Massenburg, Maceo McCray, Trevor Miles, Alphonso Missouri, Domonic Missouri, Marcus Moon, Terry Morgan, Marquese Motley, Gregory Neville, Herbert Newchurch, Cartrell Newell, Michael Parker, Phillip Parker, Randy Peebles, Curtis Person, Mack Peterson, Marcus Peterson, Stacy Phipps, Tromaine Pierce, Micheal Ponton, Justin Poythress, Shamel Prude, Vance Purnell, Romel Reaves, Charles Rheubottom, Michael Richardson, Joshua Richardson, Derrick Richardson, Jaren Richardson, Calvin Richardson, LaShawn Ricks, Quayshwan Rogers, Arturo Romero, Keith Rudd, Anthony Sealy, Dennis Sesson, Travis Shearin, Willie Shields, James Simmons, Travis Simmons, Antwon Smith, Mitchell Smith, Antonio Smith, Jonathan Smith, Kevon Solomon, Dwayne Spruill, Joseph Squire, Jomar Squire, Lenny Squire, Jarren Squire, Darius Sykes, Antonio Thomas, Rossi Thornton, James Underdue, Thomas Utley, William Vaughnn, Tyvaries Vick, Javon Vincent, Jo’Mel Wade, Lavar Waker, Billy Walker, Joseph Ward, Anthony Watson, Craig Watts Jr., Cameron Webb, Paul Wilkins, Devontae Williams, and Demarius York.


Several men were awarded Men of Distinction (MOD) status. This is a special recognition component of the PRIDE of Halifax Male Mentoring program and represents the highest level of accomplishment or achievement for participants. The MOD is reserved for men who have demonstrated excellence in academic performance, personal growth, academic improvement, and professional development.  It is also awarded for other noteworthy acts that serve the welfare of others or humanity including personal, social, and community endeavors. 

Select members were also recognized as part of the Grooming Exceptional Men (GEMs) Program, which recognizes men who uphold high standards of personal and professional presentation of themselves through dress, attitude, and behavior. GEMs eligibility also includes personal health, hygiene, and respect for others.

PRIDE fosters one-on-one partnerships between students and learning coaches as well as with faculty, staff and administrators. There are two professional development components. A student development component provides opportunities for men to participate in paid, on-campus and community-based internships, college and business visits, and professional conferences. A faculty development component provides financial support and training opportunities designed to enhance teaching and learning effectiveness strategies.


Services include academic advising, financial aid counseling, tutorial assistance, peer/career mentoring, cultural/educational enrichment and assistance with transferring to four-year colleges and universities, among others.


HCC Mission

HCC strives to meet the diverse needs of our community by providing high-quality, accessible and affordable education and services for a rapidly changing and globally competitive marketplace.


PRIDE inductees with HCC President, Dr. Ervin V. Griffin Sr., front row far left, and Judge Alfred Kwasikpui, second row center, along with program administrators and mentors.